ethiopian highlights

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia and the commercial and cultural hub. Its national museum exhibits Ethiopian art and traditional craft and prehistoric fossils, including replicas of the famous and early hominids including Lucy.

– 9 am meet and head to the National Museum of Ethiopia to visit the fossil remains of Lucy.

– Peak of Mount Entoto to have a panoramic view of the city, and visit the church of St. Mary built by Emperor Menelik II in 1882 situated at the top of the mountain. 

-Then head to Merkato which is the largest open air market in Africa. At Merkato you spend about an hour visiting the spice, secondhand, and basket sections.

– lunch break at Taitu Hotel where you experience the authentic Ethiopian cuisine.

– Finally, visit Holy Trinity Cathedral and drive on the main streets of Addis to visit the historical monuments before heading back to the hotel.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Other: Transportation to sightseeing , Entrance fees, Hotel pick up and drop off, Guide fees and Ethiopian coffee ceremony

Gondar

Gondar was the 17th Century capital of Ethiopia, and is notable for its medieval Castles and churches.

The town was founded by the emperor Fasiladas in 1636 and became the capital of the empire for the next two centuries. The city contains a large compound with a dozen castles built by the various emperors over the course of 236 years.
These dramatic castles, unlike any other African, display a richness in architecture that reveals the Axumite traditions as well as the influence of Arabia and early Portuguese Jesuit missionaries.

Explore the royal enclosure which contains several stone-built castles of different emperors. The most impressive building is Fasilidas castle. He was the emperor who established Gondar as a powerful cultural and religious centre. (3 hours)

Simien Mountains

Simien Mountains National Park is in northern Ethiopia. Its rugged terrain includes escarpments, deep valleys and a high plateau, home to rare Walia ibex and Gelada baboons. Tall peaks include the towering Ras Dashen mountain. Trails wind through the park to camps at Sankaber, Geech and Chenek. The central Gidir Got and Imet Gogo summit lookouts have panoramic views of sheer cliffs and the lowlands below.

Danakil Depression

The Danakil Depression is a desert basin which lies in the Danakil Desert in North-eastern Ethiopia and southern Eritrea. It is the homeland of the Afar people and lies lower than 100 m below sea level as a result of tectonic activity caused by plate movements. The presence of many volcanoes in the region, including Erta Ale volcano in the middle of the depression, also finds its cause in these plate movements. 
Since there were recorded the highest temperatures on Earth, it was named by National Geographic as the “Cruelest Place on Earth.

During this trip we will visit two camping place. One for the Erta Ale volcano at Askom camp for better view to see the lava.

The second campsite is Ahamedla for the Dallol Depression.

Harar Jugol

Harar Jugol has been included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO in recognition of its cultural heritage. According to UNESCO it is considered the fourth holy city of Islam with 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines. 
Harar is also famous for its distinctive, natural processed coffees which bear the same name
.

Axum

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims that the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum houses the Biblical Ark of the Covenant containing the Tablets of Law upon which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. The same church was the site where Ethiopian emperors were crowned for centuries until the reign of Fasilides, and then again with the beginning of Yohannes IV’s reign until the end of the empire. Axum is considered to be the holiest city in Ethiopia.

Blue Nile Falls/Lake Tana/Bahir Dar

In Bahir Dar you can spend days strolling along palm-lined avenues, lake side vistas exploring the Nile, and the Woito clan’s village, viewing spectacular sunset and riding a bicycle. St. George Church and the 16th century one-storied Portuguese building in the same compound are also worth visiting.
Known locally as Tis Isat – ‘Smoke of Fire’, the Blue Nile Falls is the most dramatic spectacle on either the White or the Blue Nile rivers. Four hundred meters (1, 312 feet) wide when in flood, and dropping over a sheer chasm more than forty-five meters (150 feet) deep, the falls throw up a continuous spray of water, which lightly showers onlookers up to a kilometer away.

Visit the monasteries and churches of Ura Kidane Mihiret, Azwa Mariam. Ura Kidane Mihiret hosts important religious icons from the 16th Century. Azwa Mariam is known for its paintings. See the outlet of the Nile and a pool where hippos and Fish Eagles congregate. After Noon drive the 35 km to Tis Isat to see the Blue Nile falls. 

Omo Valley cultural tours

This is a nine days tour to the Omo Valley. Omo valley can be considered as a mosaic of cultures.
There are about 16 different tribes in Omo Valley, each with different language and a unique culture. Some numbering tens of thousands, others no more than 500!

On this tour you will see some of the interesting tribes including the Mursi, who are known for their attractive culture, women wearing large clay plates into their lower lips, the Hamar who are known for their rites of passage called bull jumping, the Karo known by their body scarification, the Benna, the Tsemay and the Daasanech tribes.

In addition, you will visit the Dorze and Konso villages, you will see the giant Nile crocodile measuring up to 7 meters, hippopotamus and much more wildlife.
Upon your request this tour can be fully customized.

The tour program is flexible to fit with market days in Omo Valley to enable you catch up the market

Day 1: Addis Ababa – Hawassa
visit the archeological sites of Tiya stele field (UNESCO World Site) and Adadi Maryam rock-hewn church. O/n Hawassa.

Day 2: Hawassa – Arba Minch
Visit traditional fish market and village of Dorze tribes. O/n Arba Minch.

Day 3: Arba Minch – Turmi
Take boat trip and visit the giant Nile crocodile on Lake Chamo. Visit the Tsemay tribes. O/n Turmi.

Day 4: Turmi
Excursion to visit the Daasanech tribes. Visit the Hamar tribes village/market. O/n Turmi.

Day 5: Turmi – Jinka
Visit different traditional markets at Dimeka, Alduba or Key Afer. O/n Jinka.

Day 6: Jinka
Excursion to Mago Park to visit the Mursi tribes. Visit Jinka cultural museum. O/n Jinka.

Day 7: Jinka – Konso
Visit the Konso traditional village. O/n Konso.

Day 8: Konso – Langano
Visit Sankale wildlife sanctuary and see the endemic Swayne’s Hartbeest. O/n Langano.

Day 9: Langano – Addis Ababa
Swim Langano lake. Visit Abiata Shala Park.
Arriving in Addis Ababa, we will special dinner party at cultural restaurant.

What’s included on Omo Valley Tour

  • Guiding Services
  • Private Transportation
  • Admission Tickets

Other: – Private 4WD Toyota land cruiser equipped with air conditioning and seat belts.
– Fuel and driver allowance.
– Professional experienced English speaking tour guide for the entire route (My time)
– All on-site expert tour guides
– Bottled water in the vehicle throughout the tour.
– Boat trip on Lake Chamo and Omo River.
– Farewell dinner at the end of the tour.